Posts tagged ‘de jure’

Liberty or Laws – Justice or Despotism

Liberty or Laws?

Justice or Despotism?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 10, 2017

When the colonies severed their allegiance to England, in 1776, through the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, they had to have some form of law upon which to deal with matters, both criminal and civil.  To do so, they adopted the Common Law of England, as it existed on July 4, 1776.  This, then, became the foundation of laws upon which both the federal government and state governments began the process of developing their judicial systems.

What is important to understand is that the laws that they adopted were concerned with Justice.  For example, though Webster’s 1828 dictionary has no definition of “judicial”, an adjective, it does have one for that body that is responsible for that function of government, the Judiciary:

JUDI’CIARY, n.  That branch of government which is concerned in the trial and determination of controversies between parties, and of criminal prosecutions; the system of courts of justice in a government.  An independent judiciary is the firmest bulwark of freedom.

Through our history, there have been legal scholars who stand well above the current lot, in that their concern for justice was paramount in their considerations, and the subject of much of their scholarly writings.

Perhaps the best known of these legal scholars was Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), and his seminal “Blackstone’s Commentaries.  From Book 1 of those Commentaries, we find some familiar phraseology:

“[A] subordinate right of every Englishman is that of applying to the courts of justice for redress of injuriesSince the law is in England the supreme arbiter of every man’s life, liberty, and property, courts of justice must at all times be open to the subject, and the law be duly administered therein.”

“And we have seen that these rights consist, primarily, in the free enjoyment of personal security, of personal liberty, and of private property.”

Of course, personal security is best defined as “life”, as without it, we have nothing.  And, Blackstone used the common term, “property”, as did most of the declarations of independence that predate Jefferson’s more poetic version.

What else did Sir Blackstone tells us about justice that was of extreme importance then, and should be equally so, now.  When he discusses Felony Guilt, he states his understanding and then refers to another scholar, Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676), from Book 4:

“Presumptive Evidence of Felony.  All presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously; for the law holds it better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent party suffer.  Sir Matthew Hale lays down two rules: (1) Never to convict a man for stealing the goods of a person unknown, merely because he will not account how he came by them; unless an actual felony be proved of such goods.  (2) Never to convict any person of murder or manslaughter, till at least the body be found dead.”

This subject can easily be set aside by the government simply stating that “times have changed”, since Blackstone wrote the Commentaries in the 1760s.  However, that discounts the fact that justice cannot change, only the misapplication of justice can change.  That latter is quite simply defined as injustice.

The Constitution provided two means by which the constitutionality of a law could be challenged.  The first, found in Article I, § 9, clause 2:

. Continue reading ‘Liberty or Laws – Justice or Despotism’ »

Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”

Freedom of the Press #9
“Prior Restraint”

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
February 22, 2017  – George Washington’s Birthday

In the previous article, though suggested in the government’s Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017, it really didn’t get to the heart of “Prior Restraint”.  So, let’s get to the heart of that matter.

Let’s start with the law that explains the potential severity of publication of certain information, in a case similar to what the government and Judge Anna J. Brown are attempting to construct against me.  Section 793 (e) of the Espionage Act was cited as the authority by which the government attempted to impose “Prior Restraint” on the New York Times for publishing what was known as the “Pentagon Papers”.  The Papers had been leaked to the press by a government employee who had signed a non-disclosure agreement (not just based upon a Protective Order), which precluded that employee from divulging any information protected by Section, 793 (e):

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.
… Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There, in a rather large nutshell, is the extent of the government’s authority to impose upon a party limitations in communicating certain information, and/or retaining and/or not delivering it to the government.  However, as we shall see, even that did not have the effect implied in the wording of the Act.

To understand the legal limitations of government’s authority, we need to look at New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713 (1971).  The case taken up by the Supreme Court included a similar action brought against the Washington Post.  The cases were joined and the Supreme Court granted certiorari, in which the United States sought to enjoin the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the contents of a classified study entitled “History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy.”  Prior to the Supreme Court decision, the District Court for the Southern District of New York, in the New York Times case, and the District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Washington Post case held that the Government had not met that burden of proof.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the District Court in the New York Times case, putting a stay on publication on June 25, 1971.  The Supreme Court then ordered that the stay be vacated.

Now, before we go on, this is not about the source that provided the information to the newspapers.  It is solely about the right of the press to publish what it had obtained, regardless of the source.  With that in mind, we must take the reader back to a statement in the Supplement Memorandum (linked above), which states:

The government is not seeking the testimony of third-party Gary Hunt to identify the source or sources of the protected discovery information. The government intends to investigate that on its own. The government is merely seeking the removal of protected discovery material that this Court has ordered protected. Nothing about Gary Hunt’s blogging[sic] activities is implicated by the Motion to Show Cause. Third-party Gary Hunt is continuing to disseminate protected discovery material in the face of three Court Orders. No privilege is implicated.

This demonstrates the similarity of the parties in New York Times Co. and the current situation.  In neither case is the source of the information sought, though there can be little doubt that in both cases, the government was investigating the source.

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The Bundy Affair #20 – The Invisible Witness

The Bundy Affair #20
The Invisible Witness

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 2, 2017

I have been so busy writing about the goings on in Oregon that I haven’t had much opportunity to consider the situation in Nevada.  As I have told those that I been working with regarding the Group 1 trial in Oregon, who have all started concentrating their efforts in Nevada.  I told those who I had been working with in Oregon, “You all get to work down where it is warm and sunny, while I’m still stuck up here where there is snow on the ground, and it is cold.”  Seriously, however, I am in Northern California, about halfway between the two.  But, I was spending my time primarily on the Oregon, Ammon Bundy, et al, case.

Then, the government filed a Motion.  Upon reading the Motion, I found that the US Attorney has decided to invite me down to Nevada, an offer I couldn’t refuse.

On January 27, 2017, the government filed “Government’s Motion for Protective Order Regarding Undercover Employee“.  It is their effort to hide from the defense the identification of an Undercover Employee (UCE).

The invitation is found, beginning on page 9 of that Motion, to wit:

Events subsequently in the courtroom and in the United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al. case in Oregon have shown that the danger to the lone UCE witness in the government’s case is particularly great. Although the discovery information in United States v. Bundy was restricted due to a protective order, an associate of the defendants (including some of the seven common defendants in the Nevada case), Gary Hunt, posted discovery material to “out” confidential human sources to his webpage. Litigation is ongoing in the District of Oregon to remove the information from the web. See, e.g., Order Granting in Part Government’s Motion to Enforce Protective Order, United States v. Bundy, Case No. 3:16-cr-00051-BR (D. Or. Jan. 11, 2017).

Now, some might think that this doesn’t look like an invitation, but, after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I see that the United States Government Railroad (USGRR) is in full operation, and flying down the tracks at breakneck speed.

So, getting started in catching up with the USGRR, you will note that they imply a threat when they state that the events in Oregon “have shown that the danger to the lone UCE witness in the government’s case is particularly great.”  On the contrary, they have shown that there is no risk, at all, to the informants in the Oregon occupation — unless you consider that most of the informants have abandoned their old phone numbers, and are not accessible by phone, anymore.

Let’s look at some facts about this alleged “danger”.  On September 21, 2016, AUSA Gabriel, in questioning OSP officer Jeremiah Beckert, asked, “And did you have information about whether the driver [Mark McConnell] was cooperating with the Government?”  Beckert answered in the affirmative, and of its own volition, the government hung one of its informants out to face, what, serious bodily harm?  Death?  Well, that did not happen.  And, the government put this informant at risk.  That very act disputes the government’s entire argument regarding the potential threat to any of the informants.

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair #20 – The Invisible Witness’ »

Burns Chronicles No 54 – To Jury, or, Not To Jury

Burns Chronicles No 54
To Jury, or, Not To Jury

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 23, 2017

Though I have posted the Preamble to the Bill of Rights a number of times, people still ask if there really is a Preamble to the Bill of Rights.  A preamble sets forth the purpose of the document, as the Preamble to the Constitution sets forth its purpose.  It is not a part of the document, rather an explanation as to why the document was created.  When Congress approved, and sent the Bill of Rights to the States, as required by Article V of the Constitution, the first paragraph explained why the Joint Resolution was passed.  It states, “declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added” for the purpose of “extending the ground of public confidence in the Government.”  To wit:

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

So, now, we must determine if, in fact, it has extended “the ground of public confidence in the Government“, in light of the current situation.  Our query must be directed to the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

We must also look to the Seventh Amendment:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

So, between these two Amendments, we find that every judicial concept in the Constitution, with the exception of the House and Senate’s disciplinary procedures regarding their own members, requires a jury to make the determination of guilt or innocence.

The matter at hand is the additional charges brought against the lower level defendants in the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.  Since the government did not get a conviction of the leaders of said occupation, they have stooped to a new low, perhaps just being poor losers.  They have brought a Misdemeanor Information, for Trespass and other crimes, against the second group of defendants.  These charges were not a part of the Superseding Indictment.

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Liberty or Laws? – Natural Rights versus Civil Rights

Liberty or Laws?
Natural Rights versus Civil Rights

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
January 22, 2017

We must understand the difference between Natural Rights, those inherent in the people, and Civil Rights, those given to the People.  If we fail to do so, we participate in our own demise.

The concept of rule by those chosen by God, as claimed by the royalty of the past, where the royalty of Europe claimed to be descendants from God, and ruled by virtue of that sovereign nature.  When the United States of America declared their Independence from that concept, to the philosophical concept of the right of man to rule himself evolved, they moved into a Great Experiment.  Though this political philosophy had existed for hundreds of years, our Founders were the first to put this new form of government into practice.

Natural Rights are based on the concept that every man has a right to the fundamental necessities of life; those being Life, Liberty, and Property.  Thomas Jefferson, in writing the Declaration of Independence, chose to be poetic, substituting “pursuit of Happiness” for Property, though the many declarations that preceded the eventual Declaration of Independence were based upon Property, as defined by Locke and other early political philosophers.  Happiness is a consequence of possessing Life, Liberty, and Property.  It is not a tangible right, rather, a derivative, of those Natural Rights.  Jefferson, as Locke, had recognized that the purpose of government was to secure those rights.  It was no longer the rights of the king, From July 4, 1776 on, those rights became, truly, the Rights of the People.

The Constitution began the process of securing those rights, though few are mentioned in that Document.  Let’s look at those so secured:

  • “Authors and Inventors [have] the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”  {I:8:8}
  • An Accused has the right to the “Trial of all Crimes…  [which] shall be by Jury”.  {III:2:3}
  • Finally, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”  {I:9:2}

Now, some might question whether the third, Habeas Corpus, is a right.  The word “Privilege”, as used in the Constitution, is a right that can, under certain circumstances, by revoked.  Those circumstances are clearly stated, being “Cases of Rebellion or Invasion”, and no other.

Many of the Founders felt that it was insufficient not to protect those Rights, further.  Two states, North Carolina and Massachusetts, did not ratify the Constitution until after the Bill of Rights was submitted to the States for ratification.  Massachusetts would not ratify the Constitution until after the Bill of Rights was ratified.

In fact, the protection of those Natural Rights was so important that it was presented to the States for ratification complete with a Preamble, indicating the reason why the proposed amendments were being presented to the States:

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

So, let’s look at the Rights secured by that document intended to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers“:

. Continue reading ‘Liberty or Laws? – Natural Rights versus Civil Rights’ »

Freedom of the Press – Update – A Grateful Thank You

Freedom of the Press – Update
A Grateful Thank You

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 9, 2017

Judge Anna Brown, in Portland, Oregon, has made a decision regarding the Justice Department’s efforts to shut down my writings. Before I give you what she has said, I want to thank you all for the incredible outpouring of support for what I have been doing. I have no doubt that Judge Brown has issued the following order realizing that the government, in Ammon Bundy, et al., has overstepped their bounds and has to, now, eat a little of that pie called humble.

The Minute Order filed, today, January 9, 2017, reads as follows:

Order by Judge Anna J. Brown. The Court has reviewed the governments Motion to Enforce Protective Order and directs the government to file no later than Noon on Tuesday, 1/10/17 a supplemental memorandum that addresses the following issues: (1) The Courts authority to enjoin the actions of a third party under the existing terms of the Protective Order  and without advance notice to the third party and an opportunity for that third party to be heard; (2) the Courts jurisdiction to compel an individual who is not present within the District of Oregon to respond to the government’s arguments raised in this Motion via an order to show cause or other form of order; and (3) whether the Court should amend the existing Protective Order in any respect to address the issues raised in the government’s Motion.”

Briefly, the Court required the government to prove that I, Gary Hunt, come under the authority of the Court’s Protective Order regarding the Discovery material. Next, Judge Brown requires the government to prove that the Portland Distract Court has jurisdictional authority over someone not within that jurisdictional district. I am in California, the situs (def: the place to which, for purposes of legal jurisdiction or taxation, a property belongs.) of the alleged crime. Third, if the Court does decide to amend the Protective Order, they will have created an “ex post facto Order [law]”, which is prohibited by the Constitution. And, finally, she has given them until tomorrow, sort of like the 24 hours they gave me, to provide a memorandum justifying their efforts to add me to the list of those persecuted by the government in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge event.

Again, thanks to the thousands of patriots who joined this battle. Also, special thanks to Maxine Bernstein at the Oregonian/Oregon Live, for her article laying out the position of the government and as well, mine. I have no doubt that her article and the subsequent Associated Press articles on the subject were a major factor in the Judge’s reinforcement of the principles that we are still a nation of laws, to which the government, also, is bound.

With gratitude to all,

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
(Press, publishing in a blog format)

Statement by Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom, with regard the Freedom of the Press

Statement by Gary Hunt, Outpost of Freedom, with regard to the government attempting to silence the Freedom of the Press

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
January 6, 2017

Rumor has it that I was visited by the FBI, yesterday, January 5, 2017. That rumor is true It was not an investigation or an interview. Instead, it was to hand me a letter from the Portland, Oregon, United States Attorney’s Office, signed by Pamela R. Holsinger, Chief, Criminal Division, on behalf of Billy J. Williams. That letter was a Cease and Desist letter.

Today, I told the FBI messenger that I had no intention of complying; that I wanted to look into my legal rights. A few hours later, I was informed by two sources that the government has filed An affidavit, and request  for a court order, and a proposed order wherein they order me to remove my articles with discovery information in them, and refrain from publishing any more discovery information.

This is fast becoming a matter of the First Amendment right of the people to know what their government is doing. This same subject went before the United States Supreme Court, in 1971. That case was “New York Times Co. V. United States 403 U.S. 713”, wherein the Court, in defending the public right to know, stated:

“Our Government was launched in 1789 with the adoption of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, followed in 1791. Now, for the first time in the 182 years since the founding of the Republic, the federal courts are asked to hold that the First Amendment does not mean what it says, but rather means that the Government can halt the publication of current news of vital importance to the people of this country.”

The New York Times prevailed and the government could not restrain the Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. The matter before us, now, is equally, or more important in that the right of the people to know how the government operates in their private lives, with “spies” reporting everything that they can about what you do, with no criminal intent, to the government.

This is what the KGB did in the Soviet Union. It is what the Stasi did in East Germany. Neither country exists, now, as the police state was not compatible with people used to kings and emperors. It is absolutely unacceptable in a country of free and liberty loving people.

If exposing government spies that spy on the people is criminal, then I confess to that crime. If, however, We, the People, have a right to know what our government is doing, then the Court on Oregon is criminal.

The following documents are the letter and the three filings in the Ammon Bundy, et al, case in Oregon.

Cease and Desist Letter

Motion to Enforce Protective Order – (Expedited Consideration Requested)

Affidavit of FBI Special Agent Ronnie Walker in Support of Motion to Enforce Protective Order

[Proposed] Order Enforcing Protective Order

 

Liberty or Laws – Who Are the Enemy? – The Government?

Liberty or Laws?

Who Are the Enemy?

The Government?

wrinkled-declaration

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
November 8, 2016

But when long trains of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide for new guards for their future security.

Declaration of Independence – July 4, 1776

 

This revised version of Sons of Liberty #14, first published on August 22, 1995, is focused on two of the forms of dissolution of government that John Locke wrote of in his Second Treatise of Government, Chapter 19. Those forms, the second and third, are the ones that are quite demonstrable in the current presidential election, and are the most subversive form of dissolution.

Governments can be dissolved by a number of means. What used to be the most common was forceful encroachment by a conquering army. The effect was dissolution of the government and subsequent dissolution of the society, for every nation is composed of both government and society. Generally, under these circumstances, society was disrupted and scattered to the winds. This form of dissolution has not existed for quite some time.

Another is when an enemy dissolves government, and replaces that government with a government of their own choosing. The result, in this instance, is dissolution of government by non-violent means, and subsequent dissolution of the society, which is replaced, through a slow transitional process, by a society unlike the one that was the source of the original government.

We must not assume, in this circumstance, that the dissolution of government will, necessarily, take a forceful effort. The likelihood, in modern times, is that the dissolution of government, and subsequent dissolution of society will go unnoticed until history is revised and the transition is lost from existence, without a notice of its demise. Unless, of course, the efforts to dissolve the government and society is recognized in sufficient time to cast out the encroachers and restore both the society and the government.

If the form of government within a nation has any form of representative capacity, the means by which dissolution may occur will take one of three forms. First, the executive may begin to arbitrarily impose his will on the elected representatives and the people. Slowly the rule of law deviates from its original intent, and the dissolution process slowly occurs.

Second, by delivery of the people to the influence of a foreign power. Eventually, the legislative body finds themselves subjected to a set of rules not of their making, but to which they must adhere. Again, results in the demise of the government, as was originally intended, and the society as it becomes subject to that foreign power.

Third, when the trust bestowed upon the Legislature is betrayed, by whatever means, these same results of dissolution will occur. That trust, generally in the form of a constitution, forms a set of rules by which the government is empowered with the belief that it will abide by such contract. Faith is necessary because there is a need to pass power to government so that it can conduct its business. When that power is directed in violation of the trust, ultimately it will be used to dissolve the society. The question here is, is the government dissolved as well?

Governments, by the nature of its legislative authority, are created by, and subject to, the will of the people. They are creatures of the will of the people, and their purpose for existence is only to administer the rights of the people, to the extent delegated, for the preservation of property and the protection of the rights of the people.

There is no other purpose for government whose authority is of the people,
than the preservation and protection of the People’s rights and property.

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Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute

Camp Lone Star #31
The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I
Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute

kc-now

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 17, 2016

It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

James Madison, Federalist #62            

Do we simply accept the government interpretation of a law, without consideration for the grammatical structure(incoherent, or just misrepresented?)? If so, do we simply rely upon the enforcers of the law to tell us what we may, and what we may not, do?

Gary Hunt, October 17, 2016               

We will begin with a brief discussion of the legal/historical context of what result in Kevin “KC” Massey standing trial for “felon in possession of a firearm.  The, we will go into detail, including excerpts from the transcripts, of KC’s trail in Brownsville, Texas.

Kevin Massey organized what became known as Camp Lone Star (CLS), located on the property of Rusty Monsees.  The property abuts the Rio Grande River, about six miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas.  Massey had lived on the Monsees property for months, prior to the incidents that will be described.

The area in which the Camp was located is well known as a crossing point for illegal immigration.  The Camp was established to discourage illegal crossings, primarily to persuade those attempting to cross to return to the south shore of the River.  On occasion, the illegals were detained and turned over to United States Border Patrol (BPS).

Camp Lone Star was the most successful private, permanent, border operation along the entire southern border until the events described below began to unfold.  Though it only covered a few miles of common crossing areas, it was a full-time operation and reduced, significantly, crossings within its area of operation.

On August 29,  2014, there was a shooting incident where three of the CLS Team were patrolling the border, on private property, and with the consent of the owner’s representative.  A Border Patrol agent shot at one of the Team, who never raised his weapon and who then placed it on the ground, without the need for a command from the agent.  When the other Team members and BPS agents came together for the BPS to “investigate” the shooting by their agent, the CLS Team members cooperated, fully, with the investigation.

The only violation of any sort was the agent shooting, in violation of BPS policy.  However, it appears that the agent has not been subject to any hearing or punishment because of his actions.

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute’ »

Burns Chronicles No 34 – “shall enjoy the right… to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor”

Burns Chronicles No 34
“shall enjoy the right… to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor

emoticon01

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 17, 2016

As I watch these events unfold, I often compare them to the Constitution, as it is written — so that any man could understand it. But, when I try to fit the puzzle pieces into that image of what our Founding Fathers envisioned for us, they just don’t seem to fit.

The had decades of experience of the British government, whether Parliament or the Ministers, slowly encroaching upon their historical rights. So, when it came time to leave the Articles of Confederation behind, and to form a new limited government under the Constitution, they reflected on those encroachments, and both within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, provided such limitations as they saw fit. Their purpose was to exclude any governmental authority that could subordinate those rights.

In this instance, the amendment that we should concern ourselves with is the Sixth. It reads:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused [not defendant] shall enjoy the right… to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Putting that aside for a moment, we need to consider a couple of phrases that are probably well recognized, with regard to legal proceedings. First is “preponderance of evidence“, which is most often associated with civil actions, where there is not a crime, rather, a determination of which side is most likely to be correct in their claims.

Next is “beyond a reasonable doubt“. Now, this is only applicable to criminal cases and requires that the jury is unanimous in their determination of the guilt of the accused party. However, this doesn’t mean that when a criminal trial has “facts” that are in question, that the preponderance method shouldn’t be applied.

Let’s look at it this way. Suppose Witness “A” says that the Accused did something, and then Witness “B” says that they did not. Both are supposed to be relying on their personal knowledge, though there is always the question of the interpretation of an observation. Now, with both “A” and “B” providing conflicting “facts”, which shall the jury accept as proof?  Suppose, however, that there were a number of other observers to those facts. Let’s say that we have Witnesses “C”, “D”, “E”, “F”, & “G”. Wouldn’t their testimony provide the jury the means to more readily make a determination as to what appears to be the correct “fact”?

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